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15 Exciting Things to Do in The Bronx (New York City’s Coolest Borough)

Bronx Zoo
Image Courtesy Bronx Zoo

If you’re looking for the best things to do in the Bronx, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve spent years exploring its neighborhoods and have come to the conclusion it’s New York City’s most underrated borough. The culture in the Bronx runs deep and there are an abundance of hidden gems most folks will never learn about because they’ll never travel that far north.

But for those of us who know, who’ve spent time hitting the pavement and exploring we know there’s a ton of fun things to do in the Bronx. And I’m here to share some of that knowledge with you. Regardless if you’re a New Yorker or just a visitor, there are things to do in the Bronx that are not only worth the subway ride but will keep you coming back again and again.

So yeah yeah, enough of the small talk. What do you say we get to all the best things to do in the Bronx?

Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (10 Best Neighborhoods +3 to Avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.

Things to Do in The Bronx

Table of Contents: Best Things to Do in The Bronx

Bronx Zoo
things to do The Bronx
Image Courtesy NBC News

Spend the Day at the Bronx Zoo

Website: Bronx Zoo
Address: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460

For anyone visiting The Bronx with kiddos, one of the best things to do in the area is to spend the day at The Bronx Zoo. Clocking in at 256 acres, The Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the country. Reason alone to visit!

Between the plethora of exhibits, events, and experiences, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do when visiting the zoo. Tickets for adults are currently $37.95 and $28.75 for kids. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret! On Wednesdays, the zoo offers discounted tickets; all you have to do is book them in advance online.

New York Botanical Garden Forbes
Image Courtesy Forbes

Explore the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG)

Website: New York Botanical Garden
Address: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458

Home to more than one million living plants, the New York Botanical Garden is a sight to be seen and is among the top non-negotiable things to do in The Bronx. The stunning garden is located within Bronx Park on a 250 plot of land, giving ample space for it to spread its roots (pun-intended). NYBG is constantly hosting a plethora of events and activities and is a great place to run wild with the family.

Of course, visiting year-round leaves little room for disappointment, but if you really want to be mesmerized, I suggest visiting in the fall. During peak fall color the New York Botanical Garden takes on a fairy-tale appearance. Between the prolific maples and breathtaking oak trees, you won’t know which way to look.

New York Botanical Garden boasts some of the best fall foliage in New York City and offers tours during the autumn so you can see for yourself. Visiting the garden is one of the greatest things to do in The Bronx, consider it a can’t-miss!

Everett Children's Adventure Garden
Things to do The Bronx
Image Courtesy New York Botanical Garden

Bonus: Everett Children’s Adventure Garden

Within the New York Botanical Garden, you’ll find one of the best things to do in the Bronx with kids, the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Little ones can burn off some steam climbing boulders, run through a maze, and enjoy educational experiments.

Visiting is one of the best things to do in the Bronx with kids! The garden is open year-round, so whenever you feel a little too cooped up in your New York apartment, a visit to the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is a good idea.

Yankee Game NYC Summer

Go to a Yankee’s Game

Yankee’s schedule: Buy tickets here
Address: 1 E 161 St, Bronx, NY 10451

Whether you love them or hate them, the New York Yankees are icons of both American sports as well as NYC. Making it to one of their games should be high on your list of fun things to do in The Bronx. Yankee Stadium is accessible by subway, and tickets can be found for as little as $10 depending on the game.

With a whopping 162 games played every season, there’s a plethora of both weekday and weekend games to choose from. The intensity of every game will have the crowd fully engaged making this one of the most memorable things you can do in The Bronx.

Check out the Bronx Night Market

Website: Bronx Night Market
Address: 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx, NY 10458

Exploring a night market is one of the best things to do in New York City, period. The amount of food, drinks, art and live performances right at your fingertips under the same roof? It’s unbelievable! Everyone has heard of bar hopping, but have you ever heard of vendor hopping?

That’s exactly where you can find me whenever The Bronx Night Market is up and running. This is one of the best things to do in The Bronx at night if you’re into trying a little bit of everything. Enjoy authentic savory food or chilled sweet treats, catch whatever live performance is happening, and soak in the beauty that is nighttime in NYC.

Explore Arthur Avenue

Little Italy in Manhattan is one of New York City’s prime attractions, but it’s not the only Little Italy. There’s another, more insulated Little Italy further up north that provides one of the most unique things to do in The Bronx. Referred to as Belmont, the Little Italy of the Bronx and Arthur Avenue it’s surprisingly a well kept secret.

Shockingly it’s bigger than Manhattan’s Little Italy, having more Italian restaurants, cafes and stores. Italian restaurants across NYC also make the trek in search of authentic, fresh ingredients (like a divine Italian sausage).

When visiting set your GPS for the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, a store that will make you think you’re in the old-country. After that swing by Zero Otto Novo for a meal that will make you unbutton your pants. When you’re done stop by Gino’s Pastry Shop and pick up some cannolis for the road.

Grab Brews at Gun Hill Brewing Company 

Website: Gun Hill Brewing Company
Address: 3227 Laconia Ave, The Bronx, NY 10469

Gun Hill Brewing Company, the first Bronx brewery in over 50 years, opened in 2014, paying homage to a Revolutionary War site in the borough. Notably, in 2016, they collaborated with the Broadway musical Hamilton for “Rise Up Rye,” donating a portion of sales to charity.

The patriotic beer lineup includes the popular Spirit 76 pilsner, crafted with New York-grown malts. And the Void of Light which has medaled three times for best stout at the Great American Beer Festival, most recently winning silver in 2020

Housed in an industrial warehouse with a relaxed taproom offering board games and occasional live performances, Gun Hill Brewing is a go-to spot in The Bronx. While the food menu is limited, the standout empanadas are surprisingly delicious.

 Van Cortlandt Park
Image Courtesy NYC Parks

Visit Van Cortlandt Park

Address: Broadway and Van Cortlandt Park S, Bronx, NY 10471

If you take the 1 train all the way to the last stop you’ll find yourself at Van Cortlandt Park, one of the best parks to relax in if you’re looking for fun things to do in The Bronx. The area surrounding Van Cortlandt Lake is especially memorable. My favorite path to take is the Putnam trail from the south end of the lake until I reach the Putnam Bridge.

From there take the John Kieran trail back down along the waters edge until I’m back at my staring point. This barely scratches the surface of the park’s 1100+ acres, but during the fall time it satiates my need for colorful foliage in New York City.

And since it’s far above the city, Van Cortlandt Park is a nice reprieve from the crowds that frequent the more easily accessible parks. This is one of the more peaceful things to do in The Bronx (no matter the time of year) but specifically in fall.

Fun Fact: The oldest house in the Bronx is in Van Cortlandt Park, which has been up since 1749. It housed both British and American troops during the Revolutionary War. It is now a museum open to the public.

Woodlawn Cemetery 
Things to do in The Bronx
Image Courtesy Fox 5 New York

Visit the Woodlawn Cemetery

Website: Woodlawn Cemetery
Address: 4199 Webster Ave, Bronx, NY 10470

It might sound a little depressing to include visiting a cemetery on a list of the top things to do in The Bronx, but the historical haven is a must-see. Opened in 1863, Woodlawn Cemetery covers over 460 acres of land and holds the remains of over 300,000 people.

The burial ground is often referred to as the “jazz cemetery” because so many significant jazz legends were buried there. You can go to their gravesites as well as memorials recognizing their accomplishments and music.

In 2011 Woodlawn Cemetery became a National Historic Landmark, which is just another reason as to why visiting is one of the best things to do in The Bronx. The cemetery hosts tours and events so make sure to check the calendar before swinging by.

Notable residents buried at Woodlawn Cemetery:

  • Celia Cruz
  • Irving Berlin
  • Sir Miles Davis
  • Joseph Pulitzer
  • J.C. Penny

Stroll the Impressive Hall of Fame at the Bronx Community College

Website: Hall of Fame at the Bronx Community College
Address: University Ave & W 181st St, Bronx, NY 10453

The designer behind the Washington Square Arch in Washington Square Park, Stanford White, is also responsible for one of the best things to do in the Bronx. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans can be found at the Bronx Community College and is quite the unique experience.

It was originally built to hide a retaining wall but later became a focal point for American pride (USA!). The hall is 630 feet long and has 102 busts. The inductees must be American citizens and must have died 25 years before they were nominated, at which point a board of electors vote and induct.

Among the most famous Americans commemorated you’ll find Alexander Hamilton, Mark Twain, Susan B. Anthony and George Washington. Stopping by to pay your respects or a selfie is one of the best things to do in the Bronx.

As of July 2023 the Hall of Great Americans is closed due to renovations at the neighboring Gould Memorial Library. I’ll keep an eye on it and update this post when it reopens.

Bronx Museum of The Arts 
Things to do Bronx
Image Courtesy The New York Times

Explore the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Website: Bronx Museum of the Arts
Address: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456

One of the most exciting things to do in The Bronx is the pay a visit to the The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The best part? Admission is completely free! The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday at no cost — simply walk in and explore your heart away.

The museum was established in 1971 to serve the diverse local communities and spark an interest in art. Through a wide range of art exhibits and events, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, a modern art institution, aims to capture the spirit of the borough’s thriving community.

The reason we consider visiting one of the best things to do in The Bronx is because the museum is underrated. Meaning the crowds here are no where near the same size as The MET or MoMA. This makes exploring that much more enjoyable when you’re not elbowing strangers trying to get a good look at the art.

Visit the Cottage of Edgar Allan Poe

Website: Cottage of Edgar Allan Poe
Address: 2640 Grand Concourse The Bronx, NY 10458

If you’re looking for unique things to do in The Bronx, might I suggest visiting Edgar Allan Poe’s cottage. The cottage was the last home of the famous American writer where he wrote some of his most famous works. Poe moved into the house in 1844 with his wife Virigina, who was ill at the time.

He had hoped that the fresh country air would cure her. Unfortunately, three years later she ended up passing in the cottage (in a room you can see during the tour). After Poe’s passing in 1849, the cottage was set to be demolished. However, the people of New York were not about to let that happen. They demanded the place be preserved and their outcry was met.

In 1913 the cottage was moved a few blocks over and became a NYC landmark. The rooms were restored and furnished to its 1840’s form, exactly how Poe lived in it. Today folks can take a tour of the property for $5 and enjoy one of the most interesting things to do in The Bronx.

Bronx Brewery Best Breweries New York City
Image Courtesy New York Magazine

The Bronx Brewery

Website: The Bronx Brewery
Address: 856 E 136th St, The Bronx, NY 10454

The Bronx Brewery can be used as the poster-child for the best breweries in New York City. Their mission statement makes it clear that they strive to use beer as a means to build community. That’s why stopping by to have a drink is considered one of the best things to do in The Bronx.

The brewery currently has two locations. The South Bronx location partnered with a food vendor called Empanology. This unique Bronx-born restaurant serves traditional Puerto Rican fare with a modern twist. You have to try the City Island Sour during your visit.

Back by popular demand, this beer was supposed to be a seasonal offering originally, but the cries of the people ensured it a spot on the menu year-round. Make sure to order it while you’re out enjoying one of the best things to do in The Bronx.

Visit the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Website: Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Address: 895 Shore Rd, Bronx, NY 10464

Built in 1836, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum is a sight for sore eyes. It’s home to one of the country’s best examples of Greek-Revival architecture and has been on a designated National Historic Landmark since 1978. It’s the last remaining major estate from 19th century in Pelham Bay Park and has been home to a handful of notable figures. The mansion is famous for being Mayor Fiorello La Guardia’s summer home in 1936.

Visiting the museum is one of the best things to do in the Bronx since it offers an interesting glimpse into the past. The most interesting item on display is Aaron Burr’s desk (any Hamilton fans?). It came to the museum’s possession after Burr married Theodosia Bartow, whose family owned the mansion. 

I’ll be honest in saying it isn’t one of the most riveting museums in New York City, but it’s well worth consideration when looking for the best things to do in the Bronx. The garden area is quiet the lack of crowds offer a refreshing breath of fresh air. 

Visit the Stunning Wave Hill Gardens

Website: Wave Hill Gardens
Address: 4900 Independence Ave, Bronx, NY 10471

It’s hard to believe that a stunning place like Wave Hill Gardens even exists in New York City. But it does and visiting is one of the best things to do in The Bronx. Wave Hill Garden is an 28-acre estate perched on a cliff overlooking the magnificent Hudson River. Consisting of gorgeous gardens, lovely trails and a Cultural Center there are plenty activities to take part in.

The property contains over 4,000 varieties of plants and offers tours of the thriving greenhouses. You can pack a lunch and plan a picnic overlooking the Hudson. Tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for children, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. Admission is free on Thursdays! Which makes visiting the gardens one of the best free things to do in The Bronx.

Quick Recap of the Best Things to Do in The Bronx NYC

  1. Spend the day at The Bronx Zoo
  2. Explore the New York Botanical Garden
  3. Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
  4. Go to a Yankee’s Game
  5. Have a beer at Gun Hill Brewery 
  6. Explore Arthur Avenue
  7. Spend the day at Wave Hill
  8. Check out the Hip Hop Museum
  9. Picnic in Van Courtland Park
  10. Eat your way through The Bronx Night Market
  11. Cheers at The Bronx Brewery 
  12. Visit the cottage of Edgar Allen Poe
  13. Get lost in The Bronx Museum of Arts
  14. Stroll the impressive Hall of Fame at Bronx Community College 
  15. Visit the Woodlawn Cemetery  

Further Reading for Fun Things to Do in New York City

Romantic Things to Do: 19 (Non-Cheesy) Romantic Things to Do in New York City
Free Things to Do: 20 Unique Free Things to Do in New York City to Keep Your Wallet Happy!
Things to Do at Night: 15 Things to Do in New York City at Night
Best Things to Do in NYC: 30 Best Things to Do in New York City

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Best Pizza in NYC: 15 Best Pizza Joints in New York City
Iconic Restaurants in NYC: 10 Iconic New York City Restaurants Every Local Needs to Try
Mouthwatering Bagels in NYC: 15 BEST Bagels in New York City
Unbelievable Brunch Spots in NYC: 18 Prime Brunch Spots in New York City Worth the (Inevitable) Wait

Things to Do Bronx (Helpful Map)

As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if we missed anything. Cheers!